A look at the history of Tassajara Hot Springs for millennia used by Native Americans who went there to cure their ills. In the 1800s the Spanish came then trappers and homesteaders. First accessible only by foot or horse a road was cut through the mountains by Chinese laborers so that horse-drawn wagons could make the treacherous trip. With photos and stories of those times up to the mid-eighties: tents log cabins fish and game the early cars the people and their attire the sandstone hotel. This famed resort in the 1960s become the site of the Western world's first Zen Buddhist monastery founded by Shunryu Suzuki author of the classic Zen Mind Beginner's Mind.
With its healing waters rugged remoteness memorable characters perilous road fires restorations conversations under Gossip Oak peace and quiet Tassajara has a special place in the hearts of those who've traveled there. Marilyn McDonald has given us its history which endears us even more to this unique retreat nestled in the Santa Lucia Mountains of Monterey County California.
Foreword by David Chadwick
Marilyn McDonald was born in Glendale California on November 26 1940. She went to Hartnell College in Salinas California. From the mid-1970s to mid-1980s she was a frequent guest and student at Tassajara Zen Mt. Center in Monterey County and devoted herself to research on the history of that well-known hot springs. After that she lived with her parrot and many favorite dogs in Santa Fe New Mexico. She earned her R.N. and worked as a nurse for almost two decades. She died on January 3 2017. She is survived by all five of her children: Larry Lee Peter John and Mary.